Best Video Doorbell Cameras of 2021
Find out who’s at the door with our list of the best video doorbells.
If your front door is still just adorned with a knocker, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. By remotely responding to visitors at our front door via our video doorbell, we prevented robberies at our home. No matter where we were, playing video games upstairs, or on a business trip in Taiwan, we always seemed like we were home. Below, we run through our list of the best video doorbells on the market, because you shouldn’t be opening the door to just anybody.
|Doorbell camera features||Our standards|
|Video quality||1080p HD or higher|
|Field of view||120 degrees or wider|
|Power source||Battery or hardwired|
|Smart platform integrations||Alexa and Google Assistant|
|Artificial intelligence||Person detection and/or pet or package detection|
|Video storage||Cloud or local|
|App||Android and iOS|
Comparison of the Best Video Doorbells
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro
Vivint Doorbell Camera
Arlo Video Doorbell
Nest Hello Doorbell
eufy Video Doorbell 2K
Lorex Video Doorbell
|Recording||Motion-activated available with Ring Protect plans||Motion-activated available with a monitoring plan||Motion-activated or 24/7 continuous||Motion-activated||24/7 continuous available with Nest Aware plan||Motion-activated||Motion-activated|
|Storage||Cloud||Cloud||Local or cloud||Cloud (7 days free)||Cloud||Local or cloud||Local|
|Field of View||160 degrees||160 degrees||180 degrees||180 degrees||160 degrees||160 degrees||160 degrees|
|Video Quality||1080p HD||1080p HD||720p HD||1080p HD||1600p HD||2650p HD||1080p HD|
|Night Vision||Infrared||Infrared||Color or Infrared||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared|
|Smart home compatibility||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||None||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa||Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Artificial Intelligence||None||Person detection||Person detection||Person detection||Person detection, facial recognition||Person detection||None|
|Installation||DIY||DIY||Free professional||DIY||Professional recommended or DIY||DIY||DIY|
|Read Review||Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus Review||SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro Review||Vivint Doorbell Camera Review||Arlo Video Doorbell Review||Nest Hello Doorbell Review||eufy Video Doorbell 2K Review||Lorex Video Doorbell Review|
Summary of the Best Video Doorbells
- Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus - Best Video Doorbell Overall
- SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro - Best Video Doorbell with a Monthly Contract
- Vivint Doorbell Camera - Best Video Doorbell for Alexa
- Arlo Video Doorbell - Best Video Doorbell with Siren
- Nest Hello - Best Video Doorbell for Google Assistant
- eufy Video Doorbell 2K - Most Durable Video Doorbell
- Lorex Doorbell Camera - Most Affordable Video Doorbell
Detailed List of Best Video Doorbells
1. Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus - Best Video Doorbell Overall
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is an Amazon product, so we knew upfront that we could get full integration with Alexa and with all of Amazon’s smart home devices. And, it works great as part of the full Ring home security system. Even as a stand-alone video doorbell, though, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus offers a whole range of features from high-quality 1080p HD video and two-way audio to custom motion zones and infrared night vision. And it does all that for a very affordable price.
What We Liked
- 1080p HD video quality
- DIY installation with hardwired or battery-pack options
- Two-way audio feature
- Custom motion zones
What We Didn’t Like
- No AI features
- High price
- No zoom feature
- No storage included
Custom Motion Zones
Here’s the thing with video doorbells: if they are too sensitive, they can become a real hassle. We live in Brooklyn, which means that there’s a constant stream of activity going on outside our front door, and we prefer not to be bombarded with alerts every time Fido happens to walk by. Luckily, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus allowed us to set up customizable motion zones so that we could decide precisely where we wanted it to look. We created a horizontal zone anywhere from five to 15 feet in front of the doorbell and ignored everything happening out on the street. Plus, with a scheduling feature, we could set it to ignore everything from 7:30 to 7:45 in the morning on Mondays, the exact time, as it happens, when our trash gets picked up.
High Quality Affordability
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus’ price comes in at $229. That’s an excellent mid-range price for the video doorbell market. Some competing products sell for as much as $250. Yet it comes with many of the features we’d normally associate with a higher price. In addition to 1080p HD resolution and a 160 degree field of vision, the infrared night vision was crystal clear. We ran our audio through our Echo speakers, so conversations with visitors were a pleasure. We also had the option to use battery power or easily wire it into our existing doorbell setup, and it was durable from negative four degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. We’re definitely fans of packing more features into a lower price.
Lots of Monitoring Options
We like options, and with the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, we weren’t locked into any particular way of using our video doorbell. If we wanted to, we could have done all the monitoring ourselves for absolutely no cost. The free app sent us timely alerts reminding us to pull up the live video feed and check it out for ourselves. However, for just $3 a month, we could also save video for up to 60 days with Ring’s Basic Protect plan. In the end, we opted for their Plus Protect plan. For $10 a month this gave us access to 24/7 professional security monitoring, which meant someone would dispatch emergency services at the first sign of trouble.
Free Ring Plan Ring Basic Plan Ring Plus Plan Price Per Month $0 $3 $10 Price Per Year $0 $30 $100 Motion-activated Alerts ✓ ✓ ✓ Real-time Video ✓ ✓ ✓ Two-way Talk ✓ ✓ ✓ Lifetime Theft Protection ✓ x x 60 Day Video Storage x ✓ ✓ Video Saving and Sharing x ✓ ✓ Snapshot Capture x ✓ ✓ Person Detection (Ring Video Doorbell Elite or Ring Video Doorbell Pro only) x ✓ ✓ 24/7 Professional Monitoring x x ✓ Extended Warranties for All Devices x x ✓ 10% Off Select Products at Ring.com x x ✓
The More You Know: Upgrading to one of Ring’s paid protection plans lets you save video for up to 60 days, video that could be important evidence if someone happens to steal a package.
2. SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro - Best Video Doorbell with a Monthly Contract
With panning and zooming controls and person detection, the Simplisafe Video Doorbell Pro offered us control over the doorbell’s point of view. The DIY set was easy and saved us money since we didn’t have to hire installers. And Simplisafe’s pricing structure suited our need for monitoring by the month, no long-term contracts needed.
What We Liked
- Crisp and clear 1080p video quality
- Person detection and heat sensors reduced false alarms
- Surprisingly affordable options
- Simple DIY setup and easy to use
What We Didn’t Like
- No third-party automation integrations
- Required wiring, no battery-operated options
- Video recording required a subscription
- Can’t operate below 32 degrees Fahrenheit
A video doorbell is only as good as what it can show us. If we can’t tell who or what is on our front porch, it doesn’t do us much good. Part of this has to do with video quality and the width of the viewing field. Simplisafe’s doorbell offered 1080p HD images, the industry standard, but also included HDR, which helped reduce glare. Its field of vision was 160 degrees, wide enough to see anyone or anything around our door. In addition, it came with handy controls that allowed us to pan and zoom the doorbell through the app. That means we could direct it downward to see a Girl Scout on our doorstep selling cookies. Bring on the Thin Mints!
In addition to its ability to pan and zoom, the Simplisafe Video Doorbell Pro also comes with person detection that can differentiate between people, cars, and animals, so we only received alerts when an actual person approached our door. Given just how much traffic goes by our door every day, that was virtually a necessity. In addition, we had the option to set up motion detection zones so the doorbell ignored what was happening out on the street. And we took advantage of the settings to raise the sensor’s sensitivity at night.
Monitoring with a Single-Month Contract
Like the Ring 3 Plus, the Simplisafe Video Doorbell Pro allowed us to self-monitor our front door, but we’re big believers in the value of professional monitoring. The great thing about the Simplisafe Video Doorbell Pro is that we could get professional monitoring without having to sign up for a long-term contract. For just $24.99 a month, we had the security of knowing that someone was keeping an eye on our place and would call emergency responders if our system was ever breached.
3. Vivint Doorbell Camera - Best Video Doorbell for Alexa
The Vivint Doorbell Camera takes all the hassle and guesswork out of having a doorbell camera. The professionals installed the whole system, so we didn’t have to worry whether we’d missed anything. The battery only needed to be replaced every three to five years, so we rarely had to worry about it. And, it all came with a lifetime warranty for as long as we remained under contract. Best of all, Vivint integrates with Amazon, so it was easy to use Alexa voice commands to pull up the live feed on our Echo Show, Echo Dot, Fire TV, or Fire Tablet.
What We Liked
- Professional installation
- Lifetime contract warranty
- Person detection included
- Three to five-year battery life
What We Didn’t Like
- 720p HD video
- Requires Vivint security system with touchscreen panel
- Continuous recording requires $249 Vivint Smart Drive
- Expensive device
So we’re pretty good at DIY installation, and we don’t usually need professional help. But there are certainly people in our life who do need help; yes, Mom, we’re talking about you. For those customers, Vivint makes an excellent choice. For a flat fee of $129, the company sent out courteous technicians who did absolutely all the work and explained all the ins and outs of the device. And afterwards, there was a direct number to call if any technical issues came up.
Long Battery Life
Batteries in the Vivint Doorbell Camera last between three and five years. It’s just another reason we don’t have to worry about the device. Battery life for the typical video doorbell runs anywhere from three months to a year, meaning we have to stock up on batteries and keep a constant eye out for when they need changing. With three to five years between replacements, we save time and energy, and, our favorite, money.
The Vivint Video Doorbell plays nice with Alexa. In fact, we set up an entire Vivint security system and ran it through our Echo Show. Connecting the doorbell meant that Alexa alerted us any time the doorbell detected motion. And when a salesman rang the bell, we responded directly through the Echo’s two-way audio. Alexa even paused Beyonce for us while we got rid of him, so we never missed a beat.
4. Arlo Video Doorbell - Best Video Doorbell with Siren
The Arlo Video Doorbell is one of only two doorbells on this list to offer a 180 degree field of view (Vivint is the other). Plus, it not only comes with 1080p HD resolution but features HDR, high-dynamic range video that cuts down on glare. We also got two-way audio and person detection. And best of all, seven days of local video storage was absolutely 100 percent free.
What We Liked
- 1080p HD video with HDR
- 180-degree field of view
- Person, pet, or package detection with Arlo Smart
- Two-way audio
What We Didn’t Like
- Hardwired setup only
- Not compatible with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit
- Requires existing doorbell and chime setup with electrical wiring
- After the first three months, have to pay for person detection
Person, Pets, and Packages Detection
The Arlo Video Doorbell comes with three free months of their “Smart” plan, including “Smart Detection” which lets the camera differentiate between people, packages, and animals. That meant that we didn’t have to worry about excessive alerts from our mobile app. Rather, we set up exactly what was worth alerting us about, and the rest went to easily searchable video. For example, we could ignore the neighbor’s cat that likes to sleep on our porch, but when our LEGO Millenium Falcon kit arrived in the mail, we knew instantly.
Low-Priced Storage Options
The Arlo Video Doorbell’s “Smart” features also include up to 30 days of 2K cloud storage. Unfortunately, these “Smart” features were only free for the first three months. After that we had to purchase one of their two plans, the Premier or the Elite, if we wanted to keep using them. The good news, though, was that Arlo offers one of the lowest subscription prices in the industry. The Premier plan is just $2.99 a month and the Elite plan is only $4.99 a month. And for just $9.99, we set our doorbell to record continuously for 14 days (or $19.99 for a full month), so we knew absolutely everything that happened on our doorstep.
Free Arlo Plan Premier Arlo Plan Elite Arlo Plan Monthly Price for One Camera $0 $2.99 $4.99 Monthly Price for up to Five Cameras $0 $9.99 $14.99 Video Quality 2K 2K 4K Cloud Recording x ✓ ✓ 30-Day Video History x ✓ ✓ Person, Pets, Packages Detection x ✓ ✓ Monitoring Zones x ✓ ✓ Intelligent Alerts x ✓ ✓
Spotlight and Siren
The Arlo Video Doorbell works as its own miniature alarm system. Like a lot of doorbells on the market, it allows two-way voice. We could talk to anyone at our door and record personalized messages to play when we weren’t around. But the Arlo doorbell also features a spotlight and a siren. These can be set for motion detection activation or they can be turned on any time through the app. That was useful for those times when simply warning someone to stay off our lawn wasn’t enough. We especially liked the fact that the light and siren came on automatically if anyone tried to tamper with the doorbell.
5. Nest Hello - Best Video Doorbell for Google Assistant
If Ring Video Doorbells offer seamless integration with Alexa, then the Nest Hello does the same with Google. That means full access to Google Assistant and Google Home devices. And the doorbell takes advantage of Google’s patented facial recognition software so it knows exactly who’s at our door.
What We Liked
- Innovative facial recognition feature
- Sleek, stylish design
- Worked seamlessly with Google Assistant and other Nest products
- Users set custom home and away rules
What We Didn’t Like
- Tricky to install and setup
- Subscription required to store video
- Relatively expensive device
- Required chime box to function
Our Nest Hello video doorbell worked great as a standalone device, but because it’s from Nest, it also worked as part of our larger Nest camera system, including, for instance, our Google Nest Hub smart display and our Google Nest Mini smart speaker. And because Nest is part of the Google family, it’s set up to work seamlessly with Google Assistant voice commands. All we had to tell our phone was “Google, what’s on our doorbell?” and the app popped open with streaming live video.
Another advantage of using the Nest Hello for your doorbell? It takes full advantage of Google’s patented facial recognition software. We turned the program on and it began storing every face it saw, generating a full database. All we had to do was label the faces we knew to get more specific alerts. When our uncle showed up for lunch, for example, we got a personalized alert. And when we happened to be out of the house, we simply set up personalized voice messages to let friends and family know when we’d be back. Think of the Nest Hello as an answering machine, but for your front door.
Tip: Privacy advocates have raised concerns about facial recognition software in video doorbells.1 To protect your own privacy, you should avoid using cameras in any sensitive areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
Clear Day and Night Vision
We were impressed by the Nest doorbell’s video resolution of 1600p HD, above the industry standard. It also had a 160 degree field of view. But the video wasn’t just clear in the daytime. The Nest Hello’s infrared night vision uses 850 nm LED sensors allowing us to see whatever was happening, no matter what time it happened.
6. eufy Video Doorbell 2K - Most Durable Video Doorbell
The hardiest video doorbell for extreme climates, and records color video in any light
Looking for a video doorbell that can withstand the elements no matter what? Look no further than the eufy Video Doorbell 2K. While it may look sleek and modern, it’s made to withstand whatever weather shows up at your welcome mat. The video display resolution is among the sharpest on the market at 2650p HD, and its free mobile apps are among the highest-rated.
What We Liked
- Battery or hardwired options
- IP 65 rating
- Two-way audio
- Free local storage
What We Didn’t Like
- Short battery life
- Smart device integration limited to voice commands
- No professional monitoring available
- Limited infrared night vision range
Unlike indoor security cameras, a video doorbell needs to be weather-resistant, and the eufy Video Doorbell fits the bill. It can function in temperatures ranging from four degrees below zero to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, it is IP 65-rated, which means it is resistant to dust and even water projected from a nozzle.
Of course, as the name suggests, one of the highlights of the eufy Video Doorbell 2K is its 2K video resolution.The eufy video doorbell actually provides high definition images in 2560p HD resolution. Given that the industry standard is 1080p HD, we could see what was happening at our house with sharper clarity than any other doorbell on this list. And with a digital zooming ability, we could even be able to read our cousin’s handwriting on the labels of the packages she sent us.
Highly-Rated Mobile Apps
One of the great things about video doorbells is that you don’t actually have to be home to use them. To truly take advantage of what a video doorbell offers, though, you need high-performing mobile apps to monitor your device wherever you are. Luckily, eufy has some of the best-performing apps out there. Like most video doorbell apps, eufy gave us access to our live feed and recordings and sent us alerts. In addition, though, it included controls to fine-tune the doorbell remotely. We were able to shift the view, for instance, and to change motion detection sensitivity settings. That meant we could quickly turn down the doorbell’s sensitivity when we were hanging out at the coffee shop and a parade happened to pass by our door.
7. Lorex Doorbell Camera - Most Affordable Video Doorbell
The Lorex Doorbell Camera is great for anyone who prefers a hardwired system that’s also completely DIY. Oh, and it also happens to be about half the price of most other video doorbells, costing just $129.99. That meant that we could secure our house without having to break the bank.
What We Liked
- Affordable price
- Local storage of up to 64 GB
- No monthly fees
- Infrared night vision
What We Didn’t Like
- No professional monitoring available
- No cloud storage
- Requires hardwiring
- No person detection
A Lorex Video doorbell can be had for just $129.99, about half of what the more expensive examples on this list cost. It’s true that Lorex doesn’t come with some of the high-priced extras you might get elsewhere like cloud storage. But its 1080p HD video resolution matches the industry standard, and it offers a wide 160 degree field of vision. It also includes infrared night vision, two-way audio, and free local storage. That’s a heck of a lot of features to get for such a low price.
The Lorex Video Doorbell is small and fairly unobtrusive, four inches by 1.7, and only one inch wide. That meant it didn’t give our front door a cluttered look. In fact, it didn’t look all that different from a traditional doorbell. The faceplate is a stylish black and silver, with rounded features within a rectangular casing. All-in-all, it told visitors we like our technology, but we also like it to blend well with our signature style.
In general, we prefer hardwired video doorbell systems for one simple reason: no batteries required. Unfortunately, purchasing a wired system often means hiring a professional installer. Lorex, however, was completely DIY. We connected a few wires, attached the faceplate, and were done. It was hardwiring without the hassle!
The Best Video Doorbells on Youtube
Find out more about the best video doorbells of 2021 with our handy Youtube video.
Full disclosure: it’s last year’s video. But we’re hard at work on this year’s update.
Video Doorbell Methodology
What qualities do we look for in a video doorbell, and how do we know if something is up to par? In this section, we discuss exactly how we put this list together.
We know that our doorbell is one of the first things visitors see at our home, so it is important to us that we like the aesthetics as well as the technology. The next thing we look for is durability. We want to know each video doorbell’s temperature range and then make sure that it doesn’t get any hotter or colder than where we live. Sometimes, IP ratings2 are also available. Those are very helpful in giving us an idea about how resistant it is to liquids and solids.
|1||A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part||Dripping water falling vertically|
|2||Fingers or similar objects||Dripping water falling from 15 degree tilt|
|3||Tools, thick wires, etc.||Spraying water|
|4||Most wires, screws, etc.||Splashing water|
|5||Dust protected||Water jets 6.3mm & below|
|6||Dust tight||Powerful water jets 12.5mm & below|
|7||N/A||Immersion up to 1m|
|8||N/A||Immersion over 1m|
The next factor we consider is whether the video doorbell is battery-powered or hardwired. While hardwiring is certainly a more complicated process, we like that we don’t have to worry about changing the batteries if we go that route. If our video doorbell is battery-powered, on the other hand, we want to be sure that the battery life is six months or longer. We also prefer devices that notify us if the battery is low. Finally, we like to learn about the circumstances that trigger the doorbell to record, which is typically either when it senses motion or people, or when the doorbell is pressed. Sometimes there is also an option for 24/7 continuous recording.
Of course, the main feature of any video doorbell is its camera, and we are sticklers for our security camera necessary features test. We review the cameras in terms of technical specifications as well as our own experience using them, judging them based on their video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence capabilities. Keep reading for more detail about each.
1080p HD is the industry standard for security camera video display. We also look for fields of view that are 120 degrees or wider. Finally, it’s nice if the camera can zoom optically or digitally, although it isn’t a deal-breaker if it can’t.
All of the video doorbells we review have built-in speakers and microphones which enable two-way audio. Two-way audio means that we can actually speak to whoever is in front of our doorbell camera, whether we are in the house or across the world.
We prefer infrared night vision over color night vision from a bright white light because it is way less conspicuous. LED sensors are hardly noticeable, and if we are recording an intruder at night, we want to make sure that they don’t know. Most video doorbells have infrared night vision. The strength of the LED vision depends on its amount of LED sensors, but there are no hard and fast rules.
There are a number of reasons to store our recorded footage. If we have an intrusion, we want some footage to show to the police. Sometimes, we like to store footage for sentimental reasons, like when we brought our dog home for the first time. Whatever reason, we always back up our footage in two ways, locally on a hard drive or device, as well as on the cloud.
Companies differ when it comes to local and cloud storage. Some offer cloud for free, some offer local for free, and some charge for both or give both for free. We also saw 60 days of cloud storage offered for $3 per month and 30 days of cloud storage offered for $6 per month, so there is some variance. The point is, storage is something we take very seriously and factor into the overall cost when choosing a video doorbell.
Smart Platform Integration
We know we want to purchase a video doorbell that integrates with the same smart home ecosystem we have. For us, that is either Amazon or Google. That way, we are able to control our doorbell camera, hands-free. And we can use it to trigger all our other smart home devices from light bulbs to televisions. For more on setting up a smart home, read our home automation guide.
|Voice assistant||Compatible smart displays and speakers|
|Alexa||Echo Show, Echo Dot|
|Google Assistant||Nest speakers, Nest Hubs|
Artificial intelligence is key when it comes to video doorbells. They all work through motion detection; when they detect motion, we receive a mobile notification. But a lot of motion detected usually isn’t from people but from other moving objects. For example, we have some energetic squirrels pass through now and then. That’s where AI comes in handy. Person detection differentiates between people and other moving objects, while facial recognition tells us exactly who is at our front door. Unfortunately, the majority of video doorbells we review don’t have any AI capabilities, but these kinds of capabilities can be a huge advantage in giving us smarter, more specific notifications.
Depending on our video doorbell design, we either hardwire it into our home or operate it with batteries. It is always important to make sure that our home matches the video doorbell’s requirements before buying the doorbell. For example, some video doorbells require an existing doorbell setup while some don’t. If we don’t feel confident in hardwiring or otherwise installing our video doorbell, we hire a professional. Doing so usually costs us $100 or more,3 but at least in those cases, we know it is done correctly. The cheaper option, of course, is DIY installation, so we always make sure that we know what we are getting into before we purchase a video doorbell.
Finally, we thoroughly check out the apps. First, the app we use to control the video doorbell and its storage need to be highly rated on either the Apple or Google Play store, depending on our mobile device. We prefer ratings of three stars and above and make sure to check out the most recent reviews to see the most current updates. However, we also run each app ourselves to see how easy it was to set up, how intuitive its controls are, and whether it allows us to fine-tune its features.
Best Video Doorbells FAQs
Which is the best video doorbell?
Through our research, we’ve found the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro, the Vivint Doorbell Camera, the Arlo Video Doorbell, the Nest Hello, the eufy Video Doorbell 2k, and the Lorex Video Doorbell to be some of the best video doorbells.
Is there a monthly charge for Ring doorbell cameras?
Ring does not require monthly fees for its video doorbells. However, we recommend signing up and paying for a Ring Basic protection plan for $3 a month ($30 a year) which comes with 60 days of video storage. Or upgrade to the Ring Plus protection plan for $10 a month ($100 a year) and get professional monitoring as well.
How does a video doorbell work?
Video doorbells connect to a mobile application so we can see and speak to whoever’s at our front door from anywhere in the world. The camera comes with a speaker and microphone so we can have two-way conversations. Many video doorbells are motion-activated, notifying us whenever they detect motion, and some can even differentiate between people and other moving objects to make our notifications more relevant.
What is the best video doorbell available without a subscription?
The best video doorbell available without a subscription is the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus. Among its many features, it comes with high-quality 1080p HD video, two-way audio, infrared night vision, and customizable motion zones.
UIC John Marshall Law Review. (2019). Banning Facial Recognition in Chicago: A Moral and Legal Necessity.
DSM&T. (2021). IP Rating Chart.
Porch. (2021). How Much Does It Cost To Install A Doorbell?